‘Hannibal’ Recap: The Net Tightens As Hannibal Pioneers Food Horror

Senior Contributor
04.06.14 61 Comments
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Sony Pictures Television

This week’s episode of Hannibal was its usual, elegant self. But it was crammed full near to bursting with plot twists, great acting, and creepy visuals. And it’s finished with a plot twist that you won’t see coming; for that reason, we’ll be avoiding spoilers in the article.

This episode is all about the fallout of Will’s attempt, last episode, to take Hannibal down. Hannibal decides to kill two birds with one stone, and hits Will right where it’s going to hurt. But the method he chooses is a little surprising, one of many unexpected ones.

He’s also up to quite a bit of shenanigans this episode. Apparently, around this time in the season, Hannibal will throw a dinner party. And if you thought last year’s feast was gross and blackly humorous, this season they take it up to eleven. At this point, you can only call it food horror: The loving attention paid to the food is cleverly balanced by Jack Hawkinson’s slightly grayish color palette and our knowledge of what all this meat actually is.

But that’s not all Hannibal is up to. Abel Gideon is also in this episode, and Eddie Izzard is spectacular. We do learn something about Hannibal, during what may be his final confrontation with Gideon, and Izzard underplays possibly the most disgusting thing this show has ever aired.

Hannibal is still managing and directing Jack, though. Oddly, part of that continues to involve freeing Will: This episode features what amounts to a pile of evidence that Will was never the Chesapeake Ripper. But it also sends Jack to a rural barn in Virginia, when Jack uncovers how Hannibal keeps his meat fresh… and comes across quite literally the last person you’d expect to find at the bottom of a well.

There’s nothing like this show on the air, and this episode just reinforced that. Every time you expect it to zig, it zags, and leaves you desperate for next week’s episode.

Some more thoughts:

  • Hannibal is either pretty deft with Jack’s takeout container, or he’s got a lot of meat to cook.
  • I’d love to hear what the art department said when they got the script and saw what they’d have to build with the “tree man.”
  • The editing of this show is always a standout, but this episode in particular made good use of digital effects and transitions. Going straight from Alana Bloom cutting ties with Will emotionally to a scene symbolizing Will’s emotional breakdown is both breathtaking and wrenching.
  • If you need an argument for how good the cast is, look no further in how heavily they can weigh even simple statements with meaning. There are stock lines in this show with real meaning.

Seen the episode? Want to talk about the twist? Go to it.

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